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Live. Tonight - and the winner

is... The Norwegian Nobel

committee has decided that the

Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is

to be awarded to President

Barack Obama for his

extraordinary efforts in

international diplomacy and

cooperation between peoples.


Good evening. Welcome to

Lateline. I'm Leigh Sales. It

should have been a good week

for the Coalition. Interest

rates went up and indicators

showed that the Australian

economy's performing more

strongly than anyone expected.

Both developments the Coalition

could have fared into its

argument that Labor's stimulus

spending is excessive. Instead,

through its in-fighting over

climate change, the Coalition

once again ensured the focus

stayed on its own political

woes. When you have a small voluble minority of people who

challenge the leadership of a political party, who challenge

its direction, they can attract

an enormous amount of attention

to themselves as Mr Turnbull'

critics have done. George talked about the small minority

in the Liberal Party. It isn't

a small minority, there is a

who don't believe in climate big number of Liberal Party MPs

change. Joining Lateline

tonight are the Coalition's

George Brandis and Labor's Mark

Arbib. We also hope to have

pictures of NASA's radical

mission to slam a supersonic

probe in to the moon. That's a

live shot of it. We're standing

by waiting for it to happen.

All that is coming up. First -

don't stop the spending. The

Treasury boss says the stimulus packages are preventing the

loss of 100,000 jobs. Samoa's

day of mourning for those who

died in the tsunamis. And more

than a decade on, California's

medical marijuana experiment

spreads across America, pursued

by bitter debate. US President

Barack Obama has achieved

another landmark, winning the

Nobel Peace Prize less than a

year after taking office. The

Nobel committee hailed his

"Extraordinary diplomatic

efforts on the international stage." The announcement came

as a surprise and pundits say

nobody even knew the American

President was on the shortlist.

John Stewart reports. For a

President who has yet to serve

a year in the White House it's

an extraordinary achievement.

Tonight in Oslo the Nobel committee chose Barack Obama

from a field of 205 nominees.

The Norwegian Nobel committee

has decided that the Nobel

Peace Prize for 2009 is to be

award ed to President Barack

Obama for his extraordinary

efforts to strengthen

international diplomacy and

cooperation between

peoples. The decision surprised

many. The US President was not

even considered to be on the

shortlist. The committee wants

to not only endorse but

contribute to enhancing that

kind of international policy

and attitudes which he stands for. Since taking office in

January President Obama has

pushed for nuclear disarmament

and reached out to Russia and

China to reduce nuclear weapon

stockpiles and the President

announced an end date, as

promised, for US combat

operations in Iraq. President

Obama has also tried to restart

the stalled Middle East peace process. His only real progress

in the Middle East has been a

ground-breaking speech in Cairo

reaching out to the Arab world

earlier this year. I'm proud

to carry with me the good will

of the American people and a

greeting of peace from Muslim

communities in my

communities in my country. But

so far there has been no

breakthrough in the Israeli

Palestinian conflict or dealing

with Iran's nuclear program. Barack Obama is the

fourth American President to

win the Nobel Peace Prize which

is awarded nearly $20 million

in prize money. Ginning us now

from London is Europe

correspondent Peter Wilkins. Given that Barack Obama has

been President for less than a

year, is this decision likely

to be controversial?

Undoubtedly it will be

controversial. It already has

been controversial but let's

look at the surprise perhaps

for the President himself.

Normally the winner gets a

warning an hour beforehand that

he is the winner but nobody

dared wake the President to

tell him so can you imagine the

cup of tea comes in the morning

and, "By the way, Sir, you are

the new Nobel Peace Prize

the winner," what a way to start

the day. It shocked everyone.

Nobody even knew he was on the

list, let alone was a front

runner. Morgan Tsvangirai was

ahead of him in the polls at

least among the petting. Peace

activists in China, a whole

list of people, over 200 people

that could have expected it

before him because he hasn't

actually achieved an enormous

breakthrough on the world stage

yet but really what it's all

about is the mood music, is the

change of direction coming from

the United States led by him.

Did the Nobel committee give

much detail as to why he won?

Yes, they gave a citation and I

should read perhaps a couple of

lines to give you some flavour

of why they chose him. The committee attached special

importance to Obama's vision of

a world without nuclear

weapons. Barack Obama has as

President created a climate in

international politics. Thanks

to Barack Obama's initiative

the US is now playing a more

constructive role in meeting

the great climatic changes the

world is confrontish - so

climate change. Only rarely has

a person to the same extent as

Barack Obama captured the world's attention and given

hope for the future. Again its

the sense of changex giving the

world a new outlook and new

possibilities but as the

earlier reports pointed out we

still don't have breakthroughs

in the Middle East, on Iran

there's still no breakthrough,

North Korea, all the hot spots

around the world no great

significant change but great

hope that perhaps he is the

President that can affect those changes. Peter Wilkins in

London, thank you for bringing

us up to date. Thank you. The nation's top economic

bureaucrat has warned there's

worse to come for Australian

workers. The Treasury secretary

says unemployment hasn't peaked

and he expects more than

100,000 extra jobs could still

be lost. Ken Henry credited

economic stimulus for Australia's remarkable resilience and not for the

first time that's put Dr Henry

in the Opposition's sights.

From Canberra, Hayden Cooper

reports. It was an upbeat

Treasury secretary at

Parliament House, surprised by Australia's strong economic

performance. It is certainly

the case that on the numbers we

presently have, the Australian

economy is performing better

than we thought it would. The

world thinks so too. The latest

rankings from the World

Economic Forum rate Australia

as the second best performing

financial centre, up nine

places in a year. Australia is

a stand-out success when you

look at what has gone on around

the world in the middle of this

global recession. What the

rest of the world wishess they

could have had was 11.5 years

of Coalition Government. The

Treasury secretary credits

economic stimulus as part of

the reason for the resurgence

and he warns of disaster if the

spending strategy is pulled

apart too early. If you

withdrew the tims right away

and you withdrew all of the

stimulus right away, yes, we

would consider that the

increase in unemployed would be

of that order, of 100,000 jobs.

It could quite possibly be more

than that. We don't think that

that would mean unemployment if

you look at the fact that

unemployment, thankfully, is

going down, that's obviously a

starting point and it's been

steady for some periods of

reporting. I'll take Ken Henry

over Helen Coonan any day. But

even with stimulus the news

will be bad. Treasury's not

fooled by yesterday's dip in

unemployment. It expects a peak

of about 7%. Without

publishing today the Treasury's

revised forecast for the

unemployment rate, I think

that's a reasonable figure to

be talking about. It is our

view that the unemployment rate

has not peaked yet. He's also

warned spending will have to be

curtailed or taxes will move... This way or the

other? Face the cameras.

the wrong direction. Dr Henry

has himself conceded this will

mean increased taxes in the

future or less spending. You

can't have it every which way.

There is a point. Government

spending will be lower than it

otherwise would have been or

tax will be higher, tax

settings would be higher than they otherwise would have

been. We have indicated that

as the economy returns to

normal we'll be reigning in

Government spending by our Budget rules. The Opposition

will be grateful that the

debate has shifted back to the

economy, but even so, today's

effort to expose wasteful

stimulus didn't exactly go to

plan with another rejection of

the call to wind back the

spending. It caps off a bad

week all round for the

Opposition Leader. A weekend in

Perth won't improve matters.

Malcolm Turnbull's leadership

woes will flare again.

Papolitical parties, as I said

yesterday, often go through

periods of disorderly conduct,

let us say that, and where

people snipe at each other and

so forth. It's not something

that I can waste a lot of time

on frankly. Too late. The party

already has. And tomorrow the

WA Liberal conference will

protest against Mr Turnbull's

effort to negotiate on

emissions trading. Suicide

bombing in the north-west

Pakistani city of Peshawar has

killed at least 49 and injured

more than 100. The bomb in a

mini bus went off next to a

large commuter bus in a crowded

market. The powerful explosion

severely damaged nearby

buildings. No-one has claimed

responsibility but Peshawar is

a frequent target of Taliban

and Al-Qaeda attacks. Three

days a ago a Taliban attack in

Islamabad killed five people.

Thousands of Samoans have

marked a national day of

mourning and the mass burial of

many victims of the country's

tsunami disaster. More than 140

people died when giant waves

smashed into the tiny Pacific

islands wiping entire villages

off the map. Kerri Ritchie

reports from the capital Apia.

A new day after more than a

week of sorrow. Samoa stopped

to remember those lost in the

tsunami. This morning the

country's worst hit area,

Lalomanu, was almost deserted.

Most villagers had left for the

capital where a mass burial was

planned for later in the day

but some did stay. For this

man, leaving the place where

he'd just buried his mother was

just too painful. I have no

memory right now. I don't know

what to think, I don't know - I

didn't see anything. At the

next village, graves for four

little children washed away as

they walked to school. This

afternoon thousands turned up

at a memorial service at a

football stadium to pay their

respects. At the end of every

dark tunnel is light. Flowers

were laid for the nine foreign

tourists who died and the names

of all the victims were read

out. On the other side of town these firefighters from Brisbane couldn't attend the

service. They've got to pack

up. They're leaving with heavy

hearts. But Australia has

promised it won't forget

Samoa. It's about moving on

and we're in the stage we

provided all this emergency

relief when a state of

emergency was in place. We move

into recovery and now

reconstruction. After the

service the crowd moved to the

cemetery. This is where the

bodies will rest. A peaceful

spot overlooking the ocean but

that's little comfort for many

survivors. This is the 13th

member of the family been taken

away in a short time. The Red

Cross says along with more

clean drinking water somens are

in desperate need of

counselling. With a general

election just months away in

Britain, the scent of victory

is in the air at the

Conservative Party's annual

conference. Among the policies

Tory leader David Cameron took

to the conference is a radical

plan to shut down Britain's

worst performing schools and

replace them with a Swedish

replace them with a Swedish

model. Emma Alberici visited

Sweden's free schools to see

why students perform so well. The financial crisis could have

left many office towers in

Stockholm empty but luckily

there's one business in Sweden

proving recession-proof and

filling the vacancies,

education. This is one of these

new generation of Swedish

schools where carparks double

as playgrounds. This year 6

class is reviewing last night's

evening news bulletin. It's not

part of your typical school

curriculum but then Sweden has

few typical schools since the

Government decided to give

anyone who wanted it a shot at

running one. Every child they

manage to attract comes with

$10,000 from the State. The

owners of these so-called free

schools are not allowed to

collect any extra fees from

parents. If they manage to be

more efficient than their State

school counter parts they can

even make a profit out of the

exercise. Is it a good business

to be in? It's relatively safe

if you manage to keep up a high

level of quality and therefore

it can, in economic terms, be

compared to a cash cow, if you

like. We'll give parents

control over the money which is

spend on their children's education. Parents can take the

?5,000 the State spends on

their children to the school of

their choice. Britain's Opposition Conservatives want

to bring the Swedish education

revolution to the UK but

handing the education of small

children to big business is one

step too far. Shadow Secretary

of State told his party's

annual conference that he hopes

to attract as many as 500 new

schools to the UK. They'll be

eligible for State funding but

won't be allowed to make a

profit. What is it that

attracts you to the Swedish

school model and The result

over the 15 years that this

policy's been in place has been

a huge increase in standards,

not just in the new schools

that have been established, the

900 new schools that have been

established in Sweden, but in

the 85% of schools that remain

municipal schools. Standards

there have risen too. We want

to take that approach and apply

it here to try to raise

standards in the British scoompz. When the Labor Party

came to power in Britain in

1997 it promised to fix the school system but 12 years

later critics say one big

problem still exists, it's not

so much the number of free

schools but the quality of

State education. It's easy to

determine which schools in

Britain provide the best

results. Every school in the

country is given a rating

across a range of criteria on

the government's education

website, Ofsted. Parents can easily establish which schools

are classed as outstand ing but

most of those have hundreds of

children on waiting lists.

Around 250 public schools will

be judged by Ofsted to be

failing their students but

often parnish will be forced to

send their children there

anyway because often the only

alternative is a very expensive

private school. Over the past decade Sweden has managed to

leap ahead of most countries in

the education league tables

while Britain has lagged

behind. One in five children in

the UK are now illiterate when

they leave school. The Tories

hope that by the end of their

first term in Government the

Swedish experiment will have

helped turn that around. In a

smashing quest for water, NASA

has just crashed its spacecraft

into the surface of the moon. A

short while ago a satellite and

rocket separated, sending the

probe diving at supersonic

speed into a crater near the

South Pole. Caught on NASA's

spacecraft-mounted camera, the

impact was designed to kick up

large plumes of moon dust so it

can be analysed for water and

ice. The spacecraft has hit

the surface of the moon and

this marks the ends of the

elcros flight mission. Evidence

of substantial amounts of water

is vital to any future human

habitation on the lunar


Well, as we heard earlier,

Malcolm Turnbull is in Perth

tonight ahead of the Western Australian Liberal Party

conference where he's likely to

be at odds with some there over

his strategy on an Emissions

Trading Scheme to deal with

climate change. Coalition

in-fighting has distracted attention from a raft of

economic news this week showing

the Australian economy is

faring the global economic

downturn better than many

including the Treasury,

anticipated. Joining me is

shadow Attorney-General George

Brandis and Minister for

employment participation,

Senator Mark Arbib. Welcome. As

I said, Malcolm Turnbull is in Perth for this Liberal Party

conference. The first agenda

item will be that the Coalition should delay any negotiation

with in-Government over an ETS

until after Copenhagen.

Bannisters, how's that going to

be anything other than awkward

or embarrass ing for Malcolm

Turnbull? Well, the Liberal

Party has said all along, Malcolm Turnbull has said all

along that the consideration by

the Senate of this bill should

be after the Copenhagen climate

summit but of course the

Government, not the Opposition,

are in charge of the timing of

this. Now it is beyond our

understanding why it is that

the Government is forcing this

legislation to be considered by

the Senate before, just a

fortnight before the Copenhagen

summit when most of the

provisions of the legislation

don't come into effect until

well into 2010 anyway and many

of the regulations that set up

the scheme haven't even yet

been drafted so - and the

reason they are doing that is

as plain as day, to play

politics with the issue. What

difference would it make if the

Australian parliament

considered in mid December

rather than in late November

important legislation that

won't come into operation until

2010 anyway when the parliament

could be better informed by

knowing where the global

community is heading on this? That doesn't change the fact

they are determined to press

ahead and do that and gnats

where the wheels are going to

fall off for your side because

Malcolm Turnbull thinks if

they're going to do that you

should just bite the bullet and

negotiate and a lot of people

in your party disagree. Let's

get this into contesh t. There

are more than 80 people in the

Liberal Party room. There are a

few people like Wilson Tuckey

and Senator Julian McGauran

among them when do take that

view but they are very much a

minority. You know and Senator

Arbib knows well that when you

have a small voluble minority

of people who challenge the

leadership of a political party and challenge its direction,

they can attract an enormous

amount of direction to

themselveses as Mr Turnbull

critic's have done. The irony

of this is this could only

happen in the Liberal Party. In

the Labor Party, if a Julian

McGauran or Wilson Tuckey had

criticised the direction of the

party's policy they'd be

expelled within 24 hours so

this is the price we on my side

of politics pay for having a

party which doesn't punish the

free and open expression of

opinion in what is very much a

debatable issue. Mark Arbib,

Labor may be rubbing its hands

together in glee at what's

going on on the other side but

if you want to get your ETS

through you need their cooperation. It is clear

they're going to ask for

agriculture to be exempt from

the ETS, is that something on

which Labor will negotiate?

Agriculture is not in the

current ETs. George talked

about a small minority in the

Liberal Party. It isn't a small

minority. There are a big

number of Liberal Party MPs who

don't believe in climate change

and all the Senators have to

sit through speech after speech

after speech when people stand

up and talk about their opposition to climate change

and they don't believe in the

science. What we want is

certainty. We want certainty for all the business groups out

there who need to know what the

playing field will be for the

future but also Australia has

as the driest and hottest

country on earth, the most to

lose. We need to take into

Copenhagen the best possible negotiating position and to do

that we need to get the carbon pollution reduction scheme

through the Senate. If you can't even negotiate with the

Coalition to get your scheme through the Senate in

Australia, how on earth do you

hope to negotiate some sort of

a global deal with all of the

parties who are go to be at

Copenhagen? We haven't given

up in terms of negotiating and

Malcolm Turnbull has said he

wants to negotiate. It's time

for him to put his credentials

on the table. He says there

will be amendment scpedz I

think they will get amendments

through their Caucus but at the

same time as that, he now needs

to rule out that they will attempt to filibuster through

the debate and not have a vote

in the Senate. That's a pretty

key threshold question for

him. I'll rule that out right

now. I'm not asking you to

rule it out, I'm asking Malcolm

Turnbull to rule it out.

Malcolm has already ruled it

out. Don't characterise

parliamentary debate as

filibustering, Mark. Thanks,

George. At the same time as

that Tony Abbott let the cat

out of the bag last night when

he said there was very little

room to negotiate in terms of

Coalition amendments. That is

not a proper negotiation. If

they are serious about getting climate change through, if they

are serious about getting a

CPRS through the Senate then let's sit down and negotiate

it. George Brandis, why is Malcolm Turnbull going through

all of this angst with his own

party when there's every

possibility that Labor won't

accept any Coalition amendments

and it will all be for naught?

We'll have to see how fair dinkum the Labor Party is

because in my view everything

we've heard from Mark tonight

is at a piece of everything

we've seen from the Government

for weeks on the issue. It's all about political posturing

and can I really wish the Labor

Party would stop playing the

politics of this. If nay are

fair dinkum about the issue

they will approach the

negotiations in good faith, as

will we. They won't, for

example, raise red herrings and

suggest the parliamentary

consideration of inevitably

complex - they will try and

reach agreement with the

Opposition and I wish Mark and

his colleagues would get off

the politics and on to the

policy of this. Are you saying George that there will

be a vote in the Senate on the

CPRS this sitting? I'm saying

that the Senate has to be given

the opportunity to consider the

legislation, to consider the

amendments that the Opposition

and no doubt the Greens and the cross bench Senators will wish

to propose and we're not going

to be accused of filibustering

when we want a proper

parliamentary debate on what is

arguably the most complex piece

of legislation ever to be considered by the Australian

parliament. That was what the

Labor Government demanded in relation to the mobbo

legislation and it's what the

Opposition demanded in relation

to the Mabo legislation and

what we're entitled to expect

on this legislation. That's

no guarantee of a vote. It

means there will be a

filibuster. Mark Arbib, all the

economic indicators are showing

the economy is more robust than

anybody thought, it's defying

Treasury predictions. Isn't it

irresponsible for the

Government not to consider

recalibrating the stimulus

spending given it's based on

predictions that haven't come

to pass? The stimulus spending

down faze down. We've soon the

first home buyers grant go from

21,000 to $14,000 and at the

end of the year the investment

tax break ends and in terms of

infrastructure spending, we

peak at the end end of this

year. At the same time, we

shouldn't, from one month's

positive employment news, think

that this global recession is

over. Look at the United States

where unemployment went up to

9.8% and I can tell you in

George's home State of

Queensland unemployment hit

6.3%. A week and a half ago I

was in Cairns, unemployment

12.5%. People are suffering.

Canterbury-Bankstown, teenage

unemployment 45%, youth

unemployment 11.7%. This is far

from over and as Ken Henry said

today, unemployment is going to

continue to rise and if it gets

above 7% that could mean

something like another 150,000

people join the dole queue. The

stimulus is necessary. The

results have ended up being

better than Treasury

predictions which turned out to

be overly pessimistic. Why then

should we trust Ken Henry's

assessment when he says another

100,000 jobs would be lost if

the stimulus was wound back

prematurely. With due respect

to Ken Henry, I don't need him

to tell me what I'm hearing on

the ground. Go and talk to

tradespeople, project managers

and builders about what is

happening on the grounds. They

are relying on the stimulus for employment and economic

activity. If you pull that away

there will be thousands of workers who will lose their

jobs. Ken Henry says 100,000,

had masters builders say it's

50,000 workers relying just in

construction and small

businesses will shut down.

George Brandis, we heard what

Mark Arbib said about Ken

Henry's remarks today. Why do

you expect the public to

believe Ken Henry is wrong and

the Coalition is right on this

question? I'm a bit weary of

people trying to characterise

Dr Henry as some sort of

independent economic expert. Dr

Henry is the Government's

principal economic adviser.

This policy is his policy. So

you're saying that the head of

the Treasury is partisan? I'm

saying that the head of the

Treasury, as we all know, is the officer principally responsible for advising the

Government in relation to this

policy so the last thing in the

world anybody's going to hear

is the author of the policy

front before a Senate committee

and say, "Well, I got the

policy wrong." Of course he's

fraught not going to say that

and Dr Henry isn't an

independent expert. He advises

the Government of the day and

he is bound to support and publicly defend the policy of

the Government of the day. More

interesting are the remarks in

this morning Australian

newspaper of Professor Ross

Garnaut. Professor Garnaut is

one of the Labor Party's

inhouse intellectuals. He's

very much smiled upon by the

Labor Party and has been

throughout his career. What

Professor Garnaut had to say is

to quote his words, "Hard times

and lower living standards that

the Government has barely begun

to contemplate are going to be

the consequence of the way in

which they mis handled the recession." Everybody knows

that the Government overspent.

There was a poorly targeted

spend and it was too

extravagant a spend and all

year the Opposition has been

saying it will have two

consequences. First of all,

interest rates will go up

sooner and higher than they

needed to have gone up and

secondly, taxes will go up when

they didn't need to go up and

guess what happened this week?

On Tuesday interest rates rose

and today in the Senate

committee Dr Henry conceded the

taxes will have to be increased

to pay for this debt-funded

stimulus package. That's not

what he said. I want to quickly

turn to the issue about a

possible bill of rights in

Australia. Mark Arbib, if we

look at the major issues

currently confronting Australia

- climate change, unemployment,

tax reform, workplace reform -

where would you rank a bill of

rights on the totem pole of

Government priority? I can't

give you a ranking but a bill

of rights is not the issue

here. It's about human right

and the Government, the Attorney-General organised a committee which was commissioned last December to

look at the issue of human

rights especially for

vulnerable people, we're

talking about the homeless,

we're talking about people who

are disabled, mentally ill. Is

this a high priority for the

Government? Human rights is

definitely a high priority. Is

acting on the recommendations

of the commission a high

priority? The report only was released yesterday so we need

to have a long, hard look at it

and there was something like 35,000 submissions from the

community so we need to pay

them the respect that's

warranted and have a look at

the report and work out if the

recommendations are warranted.

This is in the end about

providing people with a fair go

and ensuring that vulnerable

people in our community are

protected and I think that's

good cause and I think that's

something George would agree

with and I'm sure his own

party. Do you know how much

this human rights consultation

panel has cost? No, I

don't. George Brandis, you're

strongly opposed to having a

bill of rights in Australia. As

a Conservative, why do you not support the protection of individual rights and the

ability of people to challenge

the Government if their rights

are infringed? Leigh, as a

Liberal I profoundly support

that I & I do agree with what

Mark said at the beginning of

his last answer, this is it has

to be a debate about human

rights not a bill of right t

has to be a debate about ends

not means. The reason the

Opposition as well as large

sections of the Labor Party I

might say, including the NSW

Government and the former NSW

Premier Bob Carr are vehemently

opposed to this is because it

would represent a fundamental rebalancing of political power

in our constitutional system

away from parliamentinise to

the hands of unelected judges

in a manner that would diminish

it the parliament and judic

size the committee. The

Opposition proposed an audit of

the Commonwealth statute law to

identify gaps or lu-Kuehn ai in

the human rights protection. We

proposed the establishment of a

parliamentary human right

committee that would scrutinise all legislation specifically from a human rights point of

view but our point is we have

to locate this debate in parliament, in parliament where

it can be conducted in the

clear light of day by people

elected by andachiable to the

Australian people not send it

to the courts where it becomes

an arcane lawyers' exercise.

That debate still has some time

to run but we're out of time

here tonight. George Brandis

and Mark Arbib, thanks very

much. Let's turn now to the

United States where it's more

than a dozen years since clfr

became the first State to

legalise the medical use of

marijuana. Now almost half the

country's following suit. It's a thriving business but there

are still critics, as north

America Lisa Millar reports.

It's 9:00 in the morning and

Yvonne Moore is about to have

her medicine. She rolls a

joint, inhales and gets high.

That was all I needed, about

three or four puffs and I put

it down and I'm able to go on

easier with my daily functions

after I have smoked

marijuana. The 60-year-old

suffers from osteoporosis. She

smokes pot every day with her

family's blessing. So I'll

tell them, "Grandma's getting

ready to get medicated so why

don't you go find something to

do for a few minute?" And they

will and then they'll come back

so there's, like, an

understanding that it is my

medication. She's one of a

growing number of people in the

United States legally allowed

to use marijuana to ease their

to use marijuana to ease their

pain. This is Oakland, a

30-minute drive from the centre

of San Francisco and Ground

Zero in the debate over medical

marijuana. Medical cannabis is

likely to become legal in our

lifetime which some people

thought would never happen.

Debbie runs the Berkeley

patient group. See a doctor,

get their recommendation and a

special ID card and you can go

shopping at one of these

marijuana dispensaries.

Definitely good quality herb

and it's going to relax me?

Everything is on offer. If you

don't want to smoke it you can

eat it, drop it on your tongue

or rub into your muscles. Here

at this dispensary patients can

sit in the cafe and consume it.

California was the first State

to allow the sale of marijuana

for medical purposes 13 years

ago. 12 other states have their

own versions of the law,

another 15 are considering

their options and the Obama

administration says it will no

longer prosecute people or

businesses who break Federal

marijuana statutes if they're

not breaking State laws. Last

year, we just got the report

today that said more than

800,000 people have been

arrested and sent to jail for

personal use of cannabis. It's

a huge cost to our economy and

our families in the United

States. Any thinking person,

whether they're a medical

cannabis supporter or not, is

starting to think the war on

drugs and cannabis is

ridiculous. The industry has

become so advanced at

California you can study it at

college. In this class we're

focussing on horticulture.

This is the first class of a

13-week course at a university

where they had to turn students

away. Thousands have already

paid the $500 to study and

graduate and Richard Lee has no

opened his third campus. We're

dedicated to teaching people

how to grow and sell cannabis

in a safe and responsible

way. All the equipment's

included in the price of the

course. Once they finish

politics and legal issues, then

we go on to the more fun

courses like horticulture,

cooking with cannabis, hash

making, bud tending for those

who want to work at a

dispensary. Not far away,

nestled on the river, is

another dispensary. As a

matter of safety and security

because of the possibility of

firearms you come through

firearms you come through

this. James Anthony is rattling

through the official tour. He's

done it so many times he's lost

count. Harbourside Health is

considered the glamour child of

the industry and its founder is

one of the leading lights.

People tend to believe it

should only be used for people

who have one foot in the grave

but what we've found is

cannabis is such a safe

medicine that almost everybody

can use it and I think it

belongs in everybody's medicine

Cabinet. Last year he turned

over $15 million and the cash

registers never stopped. $85.

Don't worry if you're short of

cash, they take credit cards as

well. This dispensary's now

been open almost three years

and boasts 30,000 patients.

There's a never ending stream

of people and on their busiest

days they can see as many as

800. And in the back room

they'll buy your home-grown

marijuana if it's good enough.

This bag of cannabis will be

packaged into small medicinal

amounts and sold for around

$14,000. A fair bit of the

medicine that comes in is

rejected. It varies. About 80%

gets rejected. The counters

might be glossy, the sales

pitch puf,ed, but like any

infant industry, scratch the

surface and you'll find a

degree of in-fighting. Venice

beach is buzzing with interest

in the latest entrant into this

already crowded industry. Get

your medical marijuana

evaluation today. All you have

to do is come inside, fill out

a couple of pieces of paper, a

bit of a background check,

background information, and

then you have an evaluation

with our doctor and it all

takes about 20 minutes and if

you qualify then you'll be able

to possess and grow marijuana

legally here in the State of

California. There are now more

dispensaries in some parts of

LA than there are McDonalds and

starbacks and there's even an

application for iPhones to let

you find them. It's this kind

of entrepreneurship that's

worrying the Oakland

operators. Do it now, do it

legally. Medical marijuana

evaluations. The doctor is in.

Grand opening today. In

places like LA where there are

no regulations and no licensing

of dispensaries, that we have

lot of inappropriate operators

who are acting in ways that

bring discredit to the

industry. I've seen that

location and I haven't been

able to go inside or see if

what they're doing is really up

to standards but from the

outside I just didn't think it

looked good and I hope that as

we regulate further into the

future that our industry will

become more and more

sophisticated. We're marijuana

consumers. Instead of being

treated like criminals for

using a substance safer than

alcohol, we want to pay our

fair share. They've even

launched an ad campaign

suggesting further legalisation

will help solve California's

budget woes but medical marijuana remains caught

between State and Federal rules

with police still raiding

dispensaries and a large number

of critics fighting any further

weakening of the laws. It

really is a hoax and a bit

of... Robert Charles was Colin

Powell's assistant Secretary of

State for law enforcement and

counter narcotics. He says

simply calling marijuana

medicine doesn't make it so.

We have many safe medically

approved analgesics, pain

killers and anti-nausea

medication s. The last thing we

need to do is put forward a

smokeable, addicting,

health-damaging, orren-damaging

drug and propose that the

Government get behind promoting

drug abuse. Narcotics

trafficking to some,

compassionate care to others.

However the industry is viewed

it appears to be at a tipping

point with some wondering if

the complete legalisation of

marijuana is not far away. Now

to the weather:

That's all from us. If you'd

like to look back at tonight's

discussion with Mark Arbib or

George Brandis or review any of

Lateline's stories or

transcripts you can visit our

website. Tony Jones will be

with you on Monday night and

I'll see you from Wednesday. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

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